10.21.2005

Clarifying creativity

Much of the criticism of Richard Florida's theories about the creative class stem from the misapprehension that he proposes excessive governmental spending on infrastructure and amenities in the attempt to attract young people. A new Q&A with Florida online at Fast Company's site does a good job of letting him address the issue.

When asked about the possibility of attracting the creative class through "top-down" solutions, he say that this isn't what he is advocating: "Creativity is organic. You can't plan for it. You can only allow it room and freedom to grow -- something that many leaders fail to do in their pursuit of maintaining the status quo."

Understanding this point is crucial, because it removes a common argument against his ideas. There still is plenty of room for debate here, but framing that debate around accurate information is key.

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